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Research in Laser Science and Applications Prizes

The European Physical Society (EPS) Prize for Research in Laser Science and Applications is a major prize awarded on behalf of the European Physical Society through its Quantum Electronics & Optics Division (QEOD).

The prize is awarded every 2 years in recognition of recent work by one or more individuals (no more than three) for scientific excellence in the area of laser science and applications in its broadest sense. Relevant topics include laser source development, power-scaling concepts, pump source development, nonlinear optics, ultrafast sources, material science, spectroscopic and characterisation techniques, and applications both in optics and photonics as well as in other fields.

The work for which the individual(s) is/are nominated must be such that a significant component of it was performed during the period 5 years prior to the award. In addition, the award will recognise research for which a significant portion of the work was carried out in Europe or in cooperation with European researchers, and may be given for either pure or applied research.  The award is accompanied by an engraved glass medal, a certificate, and a monetary sum of 2000 euros.


The deadline for nominations for the next prize is 16 April 2018 and the winner will be announced in June 2018. The Prize Ceremony and Lecture will be highlights of the EPS Europhoton Conference on “Solid-State, Fibre and Waveguide Coherent Light Sources” to be held in Barcelona, Spain, between 2nd and 7th September 2018.

Nominations are to be received on line by Wednesday, April 16th, 2018 at the latest.

Nomination packets must include:

  • A cover letter provided by the nominator with proposed citation
  • A two-page summary of the significance of the work which is the subject of the nomination. For a nominated team of more than one person, the summary should clearly specify the individual contribution of each nominee, and when and where the work has been performed.
  • Nominee CV(s)
  • A list of publications covering the last five years (a few earlier articles particularly relevant for the nomination can also be included).  Five articles of most significance should be highlighted.
  • Up to 3 letters of endorsement of the nomination.

All material must be prepared in English and combined into either a single consolidated PDF file or a ZIP archive.

Submit here 


Past recipients:

Prize 2016:


The Quantum Electronics and Optics Division (QEOD) board is delighted to announce that

  • Prof. Reinhard Kienberger

has been elected the winner of the 2016 prize for ‘Research in Laser Science and Applications’ for his seminal contributions to establishing the basic techniques for attosecond science with laser-based as well as accelerator-based sources.

Reinhard Kienberger obtained his Ph.D. in quantum optics at the Vienna University of Technology (Austria) in 2002 on sub-femtosecond pulse generation and measurement in the XUV regime. He spent a year at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Menlo Park, CA, USA, to develop a measurement system for sub-picosecond pulses in the hard x-ray regime bringing together know-how in ultrashort pulse generation and measurement spanning the whole high photon energy range. From 2007, he was leader of an independent Junior Research Group at the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching/Munich, Germany. Kienberger was awarded the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for top science in Germany in 2006 and a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) in 2008. In the same year, he was appointed professor for experimental physics at the Technical University of Munich, where he became full professor and head of the Chair for Laser and X-ray Science in 2013. In 2015 he received an ERC Consolidator Grant. He was also awarded the ICO Prize of the International Commission for Optics, the Ernst Abbe Medal of the Carl Zeiss Foundation and he is Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. Kienberger has made seminal contributions to the development of attosecond pulse generation and of methods for their characterization. He has been investigating ultrafast electron dynamics in atoms molecules and solids with attosecond techniques.


Prize 2014:


The 2014 Prize for Research in Laser Science and Applications was awarded to Thomas Udem for “Significant contributions to the development of optical frequency combs and their extension into the vacuum-ultra-violet region, as well as the realization of applications in astronomy, metrology and ultra-precise fast sensitive spectroscopy".

Thomas Udem

Thomas Udem studied physics at the University of Giessen (Germany) and at the University of Washington in Seattle (USA). After his diploma in 1993, he joined the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics at Garching (Germany). In 1997 he received his PhD from the University of Munich for developing new methods of absolute optical frequency measurements including the optical frequency comb. As a postdoc he worked on refining the frequency comb technology by introducing the self-referencing technique and applied it to measure transition frequencies in atomic hydrogen. After another postdoc at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder (USA), he returned to Garching and became research associate there. Since then, he has been working on high precision metrology on hydrogen-like systems, ion traps and astronomical frequency combs.



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